Understanding Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy. Psychotherapists use this technique as a way to help patients with a variety of different mental illnesses and emotional difficulties. This can include (but is not limited to) depression, anxiety, coping with daily life, low self-esteem, the loss of a loved one, and dealing with trauma.

The term psychotherapy itself refers to several different types of therapy that use various techniques in order to help patients function better and increase well-being. Psychotherapists may combine this approach with medication and other types of therapies.

What to Expect

The course of psychotherapy treatment often lasts less than one year, making it a short-term option for those who need help navigating difficult situations. Some forms can last just a few sessions, while others can take months or years. Depending on the needs of the individual, your session may be one-on-one with your psychotherapist, in pairs, or in groups.

Psychotherapy is also referred to as “talk therapy” because it incorporates talking in lieu of medication (though it can be used alongside medication for treating bipolar disorder and schizophrenia). Clients work in collaboration with their psychotherapist to tackle tough issues and learncoping techniques that can be used long after their last session. It is a viable option for those who are feeling overwhelmed and having difficulties managing their daily lives.

Different Types of Psychotherapy

While there are several different approaches to psychotherapy, the most common are:

  • Behavioural Therapy: This type of therapy aims to help clients understand how changing their behavior can change the way that they feel, with the goal for positive responses to replace negative ones.
  • Cognitive Therapy: This form of therapy focuses on the concept that changing thought patterns can change the way they feel. A psychotherapist will work with clients to change negative thought patterns in lieu of a more positive outlook.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): This form of therapy combines behavior al and cognitive therapy to change a person’s negative thoughts and behaviours
  • Interpersonal Therapy: This form of therapy focuses on interpersonal relationships and improving communication patterns with a loved one. Clients focus on processing their emotions and managing interpersonal problems constructively.
  • Family Therapy: This form of therapy can vary between one-on-one sessions and group sessions that involve multiple people. As the name implies, it often focuses on improving communication within a family and addressing issues.
  • Group Therapy: This form of therapy can involve anywhere from six to 12 clients that have similar problems. A group setting encourages sharing and allows clients to learn from how others cope and handle negative issues. This often gives clients a new perspective and lends a sense of support.

How a Trained Psychotherapist Fits In

As one of Canada’s top 10 best psychotherapists, Melissa Cutler has spent the past 20 years gaining clinical and research experience across hospital, community, and public sector settings, including as a social worker. Her advanced training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), trauma counselling and chronic pain management enables her to provide patients with evidence-based treatment options.

Book online for a psychotherapy appointment at her office on Yonge and Lawrence near the subway.